I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her. On the way my big sister dropped the bomb: "There’s no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew the truth always went down easier with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn’t even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.
I was just about thought out when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock’s grade two class. Bobby Decker didn’t have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess in the winter. His mother always wrote a note telling the teacher he had a cough, but Bobby Decker didn’t have a cough. We kids knew that what he didn’t have was a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one with a hood. It looked real warm, and he would like that. "Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma’am," I replied shyly. "It’s for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn’t get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas. That evening, Grandma helped me. (A little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible.) We wrapped the coat in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker’s house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa’s helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby’s house, and she and I hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath and dashed for his front door. I dropped the present on his step and pounded his door, then flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
May you always have
love to share,
health to spare,
and friends who care . . .
and may you always believe in
the magic of Santa Claus!
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind." – Dr. Seuss